Thursday, April 18

Western New York families deal with baby formula shortage

Tops is limiting purchases to six cans.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The baby formula shortage is top of mind for many families right now, and 2 On Your Side checked in with Tops and Wegmans on Friday to see what’s going on in our local stores.

Wegmans told us that while it may not have every brand or variety available, it continues to receive shipments of baby formula on a regular basis and is working hard to ensure that it has it available.

And Tops says there’s a limit of six cans as it deals with the shortage. 

Susan Durfee, the director of center store for Tops, says she doesn’t see the shortage ending any time soon because of what’s happening at the manufacturing facilities. She thinks it will be three months until it ends.

“We have seen it across all varieties, all items, and we just continue to have calls with our vendors to get as much product in as we can, and then to have calls with our stores to let them know what’s going on and try to be able to share it with customers as they’re coming in because we understand the frustration completely,” Durfee says.

2 On Your Side asked Durfee if she had any tips for families to find in-stock formula.

“My tip would be to go shopping early in the morning. Most of the stores get their deliveries overnight, so I would go in the morning,” Durfee said. “I would check with your regular store what days they get delivery because it varies by store, but they get several deliveries a week. It was the same with any of the shortages. If you get there early in the morning, whatever product they have, you know, will be on the shelf earlier and possibly gone by the afternoon due to the demand.”

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If you have the Excelsior Pass App you got a message on Friday from the state with links to help families dealing with the formula shortage.

Also, you want to make sure you don’t get ripped off, especially if you’re shopping online at a website you haven’t used before. The Better Business Bureau is warning people about scams. They said online scams are popping up, so you can check before you shop at a company you aren’t familiar with. And if you have any issues, make sure you report them and file a complaint with the BBB.

Tops also provided this information about brand equivalents to some of the recalled brands. 

“The other brand is very safe. It all goes through the same testing requirements, so it wouldn’t be out there if it wasn’t, but we do post what we can substitute,” Durfee said. “I would call your doctor if you have a very sensitive baby to make sure that they feel comfortable with it because you can never be too sure.”

Additionally, a spokesperson from Tops said, “Tops stores have been impacted by the recent nationwide baby formula recalls just like other retailers across the nation. As a result, Tops has put limits on formula so that more customers are able to have access to available inventory. Our Tippy Toes label of baby formula has been available and unaffected by the recall. We have posted information (see attached) in store to assist parents in knowing which item is equivalent to the recalled items so they are able to purchase an acceptable alternative.”

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